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Another wonderful writing exercise: The (mildly humorous) argument in 250 words.



Your dog barks incessantly. You feel this is less impactful to your life than spending time with it. It would enhance your life, and appease the neighborhood if you spent more time with it instead.

There are several reasons why you might be dismissive of alternatives. Firstly, I understand you probably have a busy schedule. Furthermore, you might consider me an overly dramatic busybody and, therefore, not a credible source for feedback. While it is true that, after many months of listening to your terrier testing its vocal agility in your backyard, I am perhaps a bit agitated, allow me to assure you: I am still your neighbor. Moreover, I am one of many neighbors surrounding you.

As a fellow homeowner and compassionate human being, I urge you to consider the following: The love of a dog is unconditional, and a source of great comfort. Many consider it a remedy for stress. Studies have shown it can help with everything from blood pressure to depression. Also, no neighbor, to date, has called the city to complain. There have been no letters from the homeowners association. Clearly, these are indicators that you are in a tolerant neighborhood, among people who understand the needs of both you and your dog. Tolerance, however, has its limits.

I strongly believe your dog and this neighborhood can coexist. It is not the enemy; it is a small animal in need of your love and attention. The best situation would be for you to provide it.